As we all know, the CA budget takes a tortuous route to passage even in the best of times. These aren't those times, especially for animal partisans, since Governor Brown has recommended repeal of the state's landmark shelter animal protection law, known as the Hayden Bill.
Repeal is sought to save a theoretical $23 million in state payments to local shelters, intended to reimburse them for expenses associated with not-killing impounded pets for about six days. That so-called 'Hayden-hold' period is crucial to reuniting strays with their families, and mobilizing the state's burgeoning rescue network to promote the adoption alternative. Hayden was enacted to convert California's facilities from disposal sites to life-saving shelters in a much truer sense of the term.
While success is as-yet incomplete, the state has made remarkable progress in stemming the tragic killing of animals whose worst sins are generally that they chose the wrong people. Shelter pets have even achieved a certain cachet among dog park regulars. Much remains to be done, and Hayden is a critical part of the infrastructure of progress.
Repeal would destabilize the system and threaten those gains. Worse it is utterly unnecessary, as the savings are easily otherwise achievable. The term "theoretical" savings was used above because the State hasn't actually reimbursed those local expenses since 2009, when repayments were "suspended." Thus the Hayden-hold has not cost the state as much as a dog biscuit since that time and it needn't in fiscal 2012-13, when suspension is again an option.
Kindly consider doing two things in support of Hayden:
1 -- The first Hearing on this matter of so-called State Mandates (reimbursements), including Hayden, is Tuesday, March 13, at 1:30 at the Capitol in Sacramento, Room 447. The sub-Committee members are listed below -- the Chair is Tri-Valley and beyond's Own Joan Buchanan (addresses below).
Email them, fax and call them: they need to know the consequences of their actions on this issue, both canine and electoral! (Pols are nearly as famous for family portraits that include Fido as they are for kissing babies. THIS is their opportunity to reimburse Fido for his dedicated service.) Note how similar the email and other addresses are mass-produce and send 'em onward!
2 Attend the CAPITOL LAWN RALLY planned for that day from high Noon, as follows:
11:45 - Arrive on North Steps of Capitol
12:00 - Rally/press conference
12:30 - Enter the Capitol and proceed to Room 447
1:30 - Assembly Budget Subcommittee meeting starts
Signs will be provided. Well-behaved, leashed dogs are allowed on Capitol grounds, but not inside the Capitol building, so please keep that in mind for this combination outdoor/indoor event. As always, bring those disposal bags. See updates here: Web Link
CA Assembly Budget Sub-committee 4: State Administration
Chair: Joan Buchanan D-15th (East Bay) 916.319.2015, firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Allen D-7th (Wine Country) 916.319.2007, email@example.com
Roger Dickinson, D-9 (Sacramento) 916.319.2009, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dan Logue, R-3 (north of Truckee) 916.319.2003, email@example.com
Donald Wagner R-70 (the OC) 916.319.2070, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Blumenfield, D-40 (San Fern Vly) 916.319.2040, email@example.com
Jim Nielsen, R-2 (Redding) 916.319.2002, firstname.lastname@example.org
Snailmail: Name, State Capitol, P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249
Faxes: office phone numbers above, substituting a 1 for the 0 in the eighth digit.
Thanks everyone, for your lifesaving intervention!